The first time Leonie Maier was called up to Germany’s women team, Nadine Angerer and Anja Mittag were both still in the squad. This was in 2012, Silivia Neid was still coaching the side and the team was just about to qualify for the 2013 European Championships, where they would later win their eighth title.
Maier can still remember going into the dressing room as a 19-year-old and is now currently with the squad preparing for the 2019 World Cup in France. “I was very nervous”, she said, recalling those times in an interview with DFB.de. “I settled in quite quickly though, as I was accepted by the team and felt happy more or less straight away.”
The FC Bayern Munich defender can now be considered one of the most experienced players in the squad. She has won 69 caps and has won the Olympics and the Euros. Her opinions matter in the dressing room too. She knows how the younger members of the squad (e.g. Tanja Pawollek, Klara Bühl, Laura Freigang, Sjoeke Nüsken or Lena Oberdor) are feeling during the training camp in Marbella right now. Maier cannot believe how long ago her first training camp was. “On departure we thought about who was in the squad, and some of us realised that we are now the most experienced members of the squad and now need to take responsibility. Part of that is to help to integrate the new faces, so that they feel welcome.”
This aim has seemingly worked well, as the squad is clearly in high spirits right now. On Monday, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg took charge of her first training session in charge of the team. There were 30 players in training, and the main aim was for everyone to get to know each other.
Maier commented: “We are very thankful that Horst Hrubesch got us back on track. Now we are excited for the start of the Voss-Tecklenburg era. It’s very exciting and even some of us more experienced players were slightly nervous. Our first impressions have been very positive. Martina has a lot of experience – as a player and a coach. I think together we can achieve a lot.”
The next few days in Marbella will include some concentrated training sessions, as well as some chats as the new faces get to know each other. The chats will help to determine how the national coach works, but also how the players work. The first two training sessions gave the coach and the players a positive impression of the other. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was happy and Leonie Maier was also satisfied: “The coach knows what she wants and can get that across well. She can work well in groups and has a clear overview. It’s fun to work with her and we are looking forward to what is still to come.”
The days in Marbella should mark the start of a new and successful era, which Leonie Maier wants to be a part of.